5 Ways to Use Data Automation to Streamline Your Business
Automation is a popular topic in business these days. As computers and electronic devices continue to get smaller and more powerful, many opportunities for businesses to take advantage of automation are becoming evident. Disregarding automation and the potential benefits it can bring to your company can leave you struggling to keep up with your competitors.
Depending on the type of business you are engaged in, there are different ways that data automation can be used to provide positive results. Some forms of automation may entail initial capital expenditures in hardware and software to successfully accomplish your goals. In other cases, you may be able to automate certain aspects of your business without having to add any new components by merely using your current tools differently.
Processes that are repetitive or highly structured are good candidates for automation. Here are some ways to use data automation to help your business run more efficiently.
1. Email Automation
According to campaignmonitor.com, email marketing remains one of the most effective tools available for marketing and growing your business. A system of automated emails can be created that are personalized to your users’ interests and stand a good chance of being opened and acted upon.
An automated email system will only need to be set up once and tailored to send specific emails when a user takes a particular action on your website. It offers a way to continuously reach new potential customers without having to consult mailing lists and manually create a marketing campaign.
Some examples of the uses of automatic email are:
- Welcoming new subscribers – The system can send a simple email when a new user signs up on your website.
- Increasing Product Usage – Have your system send periodic automated email reminders that though an account has been created, the user is not yet taking advantage of everything that your site offers.
- Product feedback – Automated emails are a fantastic way to elicit feedback and can be triggered after the user has used the service or product.
- Notices of expiration or inactivity – Timed reminders can automatically be sent to inform your customer that their account is dormant or is nearing an end date.
2. Automating Accounts Payable
The automation of your accounts payable process can result in both financial and time-saving benefits to your organization. The primary purpose of your accounts payable system is to make sure that all valid invoices are approved, processed, and paid. An automated workflow tool designed for your accounts payable system can benefit you in these areas according to pyrus.com:
- Categorization of invoices – This time-consuming task can be automated to save employee work cycles. Getting your vendors to submit invoices electronically can allow this process to be entirely automated.
- Routing and approval – An automated system can send requests to pay an invoice to the proper approver and keep it moving until all approvals are complete.
- Data capture and validation – Automated data capture and validation can be performed by systems employing optical character readers and free your employees for more essential tasks.
- Invoice matching and verification – Manual invoice matching to ensure the validity of the charges is a tedious task that can be automated through an accounting workflow tool. In addition to saving time, it can also eliminate human errors that may lead to overpayments to vendors.
- General ledger coding – your automated system can make general ledger entries following business rules that you implement.
3. Automated Customer Support
We have all experienced the pain of interacting with an inadequate customer support system. It can be a turn-off that results in searching for an alternative product or service to fill our needs. This is not good for your business.
If the first place that a customer query goes is to a human employee, you have an opportunity to automate a large part of your customer support framework. This can make it easier for customers to get the information that they need and free up employee cycles, both of which are good for the health of your business.
The development of a web-based automated customer support system should start with the building of an indexed knowledge base and FAQ pages to allow customers to obtain the bulk of their desired information without any employee intervention. Your human customer service representatives will still be used in cases where there is a problem not addressed by your automated system.
4. Automated Inventory Management
While not all businesses need to deal with inventory management, if you are a product-based company it is an essential part of your operation. You need to know what you have on hand and where adjustments in production or procurement need to be made.
The benefits to your business of automating inventory management and reporting include:
- Scalability – As your business grows your ability to stay in touch with your inventory manually becomes an impossible task. Automated inventory management systems offer scalability to handle your needs no matter how large your enterprise becomes.
- Reduced human errors – Avoid inventory recounts to reconcile manual spreadsheets by automating the process.
- Time savings – Your employees can be deployed to more important tasks when freed from manual inventory control.
5. Automated Employee Onboarding
This is a repetitive process that is a perfect target for automation. All companies can benefit from automating this process, though larger corporations with more new employees will obtain a more significant advantage.
Employees are classified into some categories depending on the company’s business model. Each class will have its own set of requirements to be fulfilled before an employee can be fully integrated into the organization.
Tools, equipment, permissions, and other items that are standard for each category can be systematically automated so that your HR administrator simply needs to click a few buttons and let the process deliver all the pertinent materials to your new employee. This saves time for HR and ensures a standard method of bringing new employees on board.
These are just a few examples of how data automation can streamline your business and give you a competitive edge by improving your processes and using the time of your human resources most advantageously.
How would you automate, streamline, and develop your business with computerization?Did you encounter what mechanization can improve the situation on your business? We’d like to hear your thoughts. Leave us a comment in the section below.